Xenia holds second neXtPlan meeting


XENIA — The city held its second public meeting for neXtPlan last week. The plan will be the “refresh” to the city’s current comprehensive neXtPlan and will determine how the community developments, grows, and changes over the next ten years.

The meeting engaged residents in helping to develop strategies for housing, economic development, mobility (transportation), infrastructure, parks and recreation, and community facilities — and mapping out future land use and development.

Interactive mapping stations were set up which allowed residents to focus on specific sub-areas of the city that interested them.

“This is an example part of the process in which we move beyond basic vision and goal-setting and work on specific strategies, ideas, and solutions for specific parts of our community,” said Brian Forschner, Xenia city planner. “This is when we start to develop the real “meat” of the plan — the strategies that our community should work on over the next 10 years.”

Forschner and Kyle Gibbs, of McBride Dale Clarion Consulting, addressed upgrades, changes, and improvements to neXtPlan that previous survey responders noted they’d like to see.

The next step in the process of assessing resident feedback entails using QR codes to link citizens to the web site (cityofxenia.org) to view neXtPlan information on plan updates, projects, surveys, and a schedule of upcoming meetings and focus group dates, times, and locations.

The meeting included a city-wide map and six different maps depicting different sections of the city. The 30-50 residents who attended the meeting spread out between maps to see which areas applied to their neighborhood.

According to Forschner, some of the top things people want to see are more places to go and things to do in Xenia.

“They want a vibrant downtown, that is really important,” said Forschner. “They want to see more restaurants, more activity, more to do, streets improved, neighborhoods revitalized, etc.”

Right now, the neXtPlan committee is “playing it by ear” said Forschner.

Consultant funds have been garnered through the Dayton Foundation and the city operating fund. Recently the neXtPlan team met with a youth focus group at Xenia High School. The student council members participated in interactive surveys and exercises and discussed their ideas for neXtPlan and how to make things better for their age group.

“The students were very smart and engaged,” said Forschner, who added the next focus group will address older adults on Wednesday, December 6, 2 p.m., at the Xenia Adult Recreation & Services Center, 338 S. Progress Drive.

“We will be meeting with Central State University students in late January. We hope to get all the focus groups done by January and in February and March have a draft plan which will include another series of meetings,” added Forschner. “Then we’ll take it to planning and zoning and then city council — by then we’ll have a start date to implement the plan.”

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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